Gdansk is a city in the north of Poland, and it only made it to my list because of the reviews other travel bloggers gave it. I wasn’t sure about its size or charm. However it ended up being the city I enjoyed most in Poland! It was completely rebuilt after WWII and it is so colourful and gorgeous. I was blown away by its beauty. Most people post pictures of the riverside and the old gate, but that’s a small part of the Old Town Gdansk has to offer. It was definitely a highlight of my trip to Poland.
There are roughly four long streets that have Old Town charm, and the city extends further. One place you’ll probably go to is Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption. Unless you want a quick pic inside, I say skip it. The interior is nothing special and after an awful climb to the top of the tower, you cannot see anything over a 5-foot barricade. I was so disappointed. I highly recommend going to the Gdansk Historical Museum instead. It has a small museum dedicated to Gdansk’s history but the main attraction is the tower, where you can get much better views of the city (or actual views of the city). Not to mention it’s an easier climb.
Gdansk, as you can imagine, also has a big maritime history. You can go inside a medieval crane to see the National Maritime Museum and then visit the nearby Maritime Culture Centre. Another part of the National Maritime Museum is located at the granaries across the river. You can also go aboard a freighter or take a ride on the “Black Pearl” ship outside the Chlebnicka Gate. For the boat ride, it leaves every hour and takes you to Westerplatte and optionally back.
Amber is another one of Gdansk’s specialities. The “gemstone” (which isn’t technically a gemstone) comes from the Baltic sea, where Gdansk lies. If you’re looking for amber, you can’t miss all the shops. They’re not cheap but you can find a good deal here and there. You can also visit the Amber Museum.
Other popular destinations are the National Museum – Gdansk Branch as well as the Museum of the Second World War. If you’re a fellow interior design and art geek, you can go into the Artus Court and the Uphagena House. There are a few other museums in Gdansk but seeing as I went to the prominent ones and they were small, I’d expect the other museums to be quite tiny.
I enjoyed walking all the streets of Gdansk, from one fancy gate to another, and seeing palettes of the colourful buildings. Gdansk is much bigger than it looks on a map but it’s also small enough that one can walk around. And as I mentioned, it extents beyond the old town. The newer architecture is designed to complement the old, which makes Gdansk a very cohesive city. I could’ve spent all day just walking around, enjoying the scenery. With the laid back atmosphere and fantastic food one finds in Poland, I have to say that it’s one of my favourite cities. It’s easy to miss on a tour of Poland but I definitely wouldn’t pass up this northern Gem.
Bonus: My flight was actually cancelled so I had to cut out Malbork Castle from my itinerary. However you can use Gdansk as a base to visit Malbork since it’s only half an hour away by train.
Have you ever been to Gdansk? What did you think?Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Destinations
Tags: europe, gdansk, poland